The last two decades have seen the world quickly become a small place. The easier it is for people to connect globally, has made learning a foreign language, extremely popular. Learning new languages is an enriching experience and garners many rewards, as it allows you to express yourself differently and experience a culture more deeply.
International schools are well-known for embracing languages in their curriculum. Mainly due to the diverse student population, it is natural to have foreign language classes in their studies.
There are many incredible benefits to learning a foreign language, from enhancing cognitive functions to widening prospects outside of school.
Developing fluency in a second language is a good idea because:
It makes you “smart.”
According to studies, students of foreign languages score higher on standardised tests compared to others who are monolingual. Foreign language learners also tend to have better-listening and sharper memory retrieval skills. For younger children, learning an additional language increases their creativity, critical thinking skills, and flexibility of the mind.
All of this is due to brain plasticity. Learning a new language is a mental exercise, thus, strengthening the brain. Cognitive function is one of the indicators that language learning is an efficient way to boost brain capacity.
Better cultural experiences.
Learning a new language goes beyond being able to order a drink when abroad. When learning a new language; you learn a new culture – from the history of words to its usage in society. Students gain self-confidence and a better appreciation for the world around them.
Anyone, at any age, can benefit from learning an additional language, this is especially true for young children. As they learn through songs and play, they’re less self-conscious and don’t have a fear of embarrassment when experimenting with new words or phrases.
The Schools Trust has always emphasised language acquisition, and we are passionate about enabling our students to become confident communicators.
For example, at the British International School of Kuala Lumpur, Mandarin and Spanish are taught to pupils in Primary School. They also learn about the heritage, customs and traditions of the culture. Students learn two languages in Key Stage 3 and have a choice of Mandarin, French, and Spanish.
Originally posted on The Schools Trust blog.